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Sourdough Tutorial

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
My husband has been on me for years to make sourdough bread. So after numerous failed attempts to make anything that tastes like sourdough. I searched the internet high and low and found this little jewel of a site. Where they mail you free sourdough starter with a SASE in memory of their friend Carl. (the starter has a history and story to go along with it)


* on a side note when the starter came in the mail it was in a small unmarked baggie. With what appeared to be brown-ish pop rocks! I'm surprised the DEA didn't seize my envelope.

I followed all the instructions on Carls page to activate my starter from the dried form (you add flour and water) and waited 48 hours. The starter was bubbly and alive in 48 hours. REMEMBER DO NOT USE METAL ANYTHING - THIS KILLS THE STARTER!

I decided to make San Fran Sourdough-

Lazy San Fran Sourdough

First make up a sponge and let it sit at 74 - 80 degree draft free place for 24 hours:

Starter - 2/3 cup
Water (dechlorinated) - 1 cup
White flour - 1 1/2 cup

Final dough:
Water - 1 cup
White flour - 3 1/2 -4 1/2 cups
Fine sea salt - 1 t

Ready to make a loaf I had to make a "sponge" with the starter yeast and some flour and water & I added everything into a bowl

Once stirred the sponge feeds for 24 hours cover w/ a damp towl in draft free warm place (my oven) and let the feeding take place. The dough will rise and be very bubbly and active

*Side note, it's the "feeding" that releases the gas in the dough - after a few hours your starter will be bubbling like a lava lamp- I was amused tongue.gif when your sponge is feeding it bubbles and releases gas and that's where you get the sour taste.

*this is a pic of the sponge in active feeding while bubbling!

Once your sponge is fed and 24 hours has passed.

You can begin to make your final dough. I added my sponge, part of my flour, 1 cup of water and salt and began to stir until mixed.

Then I added flour 1/2 C at a time until the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl and looked like this

This dough will take as much flour as you want to give it so I add flour until it's to a good playdough consistency but on the other hand it's just a lil bit too sticky to knead. (this is the lazy part) As the dough sets it will thicken as the yeast feeds in the next several hours.

I added a spoonful of melted margarine to the bottom of a clean bowl added the dough and covered again. I place the bowl in my oven to let rise and feed for the next 2 1/2 hours!

After 2 1/2 hours or so ---(I used the length of time it took me to write my Sociology paper)It will rise and look like this.....

I added 1/4 cup of flour here, and stirred the dough down until it looked like this....

Then I cover the dough back up and let sit for an hour or so....(exact time isn't important) just let it rise again until it looks like this....

I stirred the dough back down until it looked like this.....

I got out the pizza stone, threw a handful of cornmeal on it and plopped my dough right on top!

From here it will sit in the oven and rise until I can find time to start baking it.

Here it is before baking

Here it is out of the oven (I didn't use any wash on the bread)

After cooling I cut the bread - we cut into 2x2 squares, topped with cream cheese and some garden bruschetta & bacon. It was so good we made dinner out of it.

post #2 of 18
Thanks for posting this - I just sent off for some starter.
We are going to include this in our cooking class with the 4 H kids
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
That's great! The kids will love it! It's an interesting "yeast"!! NO METAL ANYTHING CAN BE USED! Bowls, spoons, ect! If any of the sourdough starter comes in contact with metal it kills it! I'm such a science NERD! ^snort^

When you consider only 211,000 people have been to that site and the size of America -- well this bread is a rare treat!
post #4 of 18
Wow, 150 year old recipe... PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

Now, if I could teach my wife to bake bread, but in order to do that I guess I would have to Know how to bake bread...

Oh well just a thought...
post #5 of 18
Thanks for sharing that link, KSUDS. I have my own sourdough start that is about as old as Carls.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Then feel free to interject anything you'd like during the tutorial! This is my first loaf with a genuine sourdough starterPDT_Armataz_01_01.gif Your a pro!
post #7 of 18
I mostly use my starter for pancakes, but when the cold weather hits is when I go into bread baking mode.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
post #9 of 18
Sometimes I get on a pizza binge and the starter makes a fine sourdough pizza ! Dwarf [wife] been making biscuits for about 60 years now and is
more than happy to let me have at it.I am gonna make some sourdough bread this weekend in the offset smoker I built. Just have to keep the temps up around 375-400 for about 30 minutes. Hemi..PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif

Ps .. Don't know how old my original starter is now. Got it from granmaw..
post #10 of 18
great idea - appreciate your posting it!

[edit] thanks also for posting carl's site - will be taking them up on their generous offer and will also spread the word to anyone interested!
post #11 of 18
Darn it that some fine bread I don't think I know anyone that doesn't like sour dough bread. It's like peanut butter you just have to like it. Ain't itPDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
post #12 of 18
I've been wanting to try my hand at bread making and this post intrigued me. Thanks for the detailed pics and steps, I am going to send away for that starter (with an additional donation of course) and give it a try. Gotta love some good fresh sourdough bread!
post #13 of 18
Thanks for the post.That is also a pretty avatar pic....Thanks again
post #14 of 18
Just spoke with the folks at the website and they are sending me enough for each of the 4H kids and one for us - I am sending a donation to the website - very nice folks
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

It was great and the tutorial is now completed. icon_wink.gif

Thanks to everyone who donated to Carl!!
post #16 of 18
Thanks for all the info!! I spent 1/2 of last evening surfing and reading (learning?). Sent away for some starter. Can't wait to get it and start it. I grew up eating SD pancakes and Blueberry muffins in the Seattle area.

Too bad I can't get WILD Blueberries here in Dallas....icon_sad.gif
post #17 of 18
always want to start doing sourdough. they make a lot of pancakes around here out of it. I worked with a ex baker and he had a starter that was smuggled out of hungry during the 2nd WW. I never did get any from him but thought the story was very neat. Great job on the bread.
post #18 of 18
i sent away for this free starter from www.carlsfriends.org and will hopefully be able to get it started over the weekend. expect to actually bake bread next week.
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